In "Building Bridges," a Tapestry of Faith program
Participants become familiar with the Five Pillars of Islam.
Share with participants that there are two main branches of Islam, called Sunni (SOO-nee) and Shia (SHEE-ah). There are many more Sunni than Shiite (SHEE-ite) Muslims; for every ten Sunnis, there are somewhere between one and two Shiites. However, some nations are majority Shiite, including Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, and Azerbaijan. Differences exist between the branches, and they do not always coexist peacefully, but all call themselves Muslim and agree on the basics. Both Sunnis and Shiites take the Qur'an as their most sacred text and consider Muhammad the final messenger of Allah.
Explain that all Muslims affirm the Five Pillars of Islam. The Five Pillars concern both beliefs and behavior, actions that demonstrate one's devotion to God and loyalty to the Islamic faith.
Distribute the slips, giving a single Pillar to each participant. Ask that they group themselves by Pillar so all who have Pillar 1 will be together, all who have Pillar 2 will be together, and so on. Instruct each group to read and understand their assigned Pillar, then present it to the large group, indicating reasons why their Pillar would be an important contribution to living a good life as a Muslim. Help each group find a place where they can talk without distracting others or being overheard.
After five minutes, re-gather the large group and ask if a group wants to go first. The Pillars can be presented in any order. Allow each group to make its presentation. Questions seeking clarification can be answered, but let comments and discussion wait until all Pillars have been presented.
After all presentations, ask for comments. During discussion, ask the groups to write the Pillars on newsprint where everyone can see them while facilitators distribute Handout 1 to all participants. After general comments, ask:
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Last updated on Tuesday, November 8, 2011.
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